Author: Amber Muradali

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Changing Face of Global Health the Central Issue at Washington, DC’s Most Innovative Unconference

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Global Health Council (GHC) and the Global Health Fellows Program (GHFP) II announced today that registration is open for the much-anticipated The Future of Global Health 2017 (#TFGH17) unconference. In a time of transition and increased uncertainty for global health funding and programs, this annual event underscores GHC and GHFP-II’s commitment to equipping the next generation of global health professionals with the knowledge and networks necessary to navigate the shifting field. This year, the event will feature information on grassroots involvement in global health issues and engage attendees in how to make their voices heard in 2017.

#TFGH17 provides attendees with a chance to connect with experienced global health practitioners through one-on-one mentoring sessions and discussion groups. Industry veterans will lead intimate, focused conversation hubs on topics ranging from Just locker room banter? The gender-equality path to health to Leadership change: What lies ahead with a new U.S. president, UN Secretary General, and WHO Director General?  Dedicated 10-minute one-on-one mentoring sessions provide emerging leaders with a unique opportunity to network and confer with seasoned professionals. Last year’s event drew more than 300 attendees.

The Hamilton Live
600 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
(202) 787-1000

March 1, 2017
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

General admission tickets are available for $35 per person at, and GHC members and GHFP-II fellows receive a special rate of $25 per person. Organizations interested in partnership and visibility opportunities are invited to contact GHC with inquiries.

GHFP-II will host a #TFGH17 Social Media Photo Contest and a selected photo entry winner (1) will receive two roundtrip Delta airline tickets to any destination in the continental U.S.

To enter, you must attend #TFGH17, share a photo on Twitter or Instagram, tag @GHFPII, and use the #TFGH17 hashtag. Also, the submission should include a short caption about your contribution to the “Next Generation of Global Health Professionals.” You can submit as many entries as you like, but photos will be judged on originality, strength of caption, and image quality. All entries must be publicly searchable to qualify and be posted by 11:59 PM EST on March 1, 2017.

About Global Health Council
Established in 1972, Global Health Council (GHC) is the leading membership organization supporting and connecting advocates, implementers, and stakeholders around global health priorities worldwide. GHC represents the collaborative voice of the community on key issues; we convene stakeholders around key priorities and actively engage with decision makers to influence global health policy. Learn more at

Follow GHC on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

About the Global Health Fellows Program II
The Global Health Fellows Program (GHFP) II, led by the Public Health Institute (PHI), helps USAID address its immediate and emerging human capital needs by developing a diverse group of global health professionals to support and sustain the effectiveness of the Agency’s current and future health programs. At different stages of their careers, this cadre of global health talent is motivated, technically excellent, well-supported, representative of the diversity of the American people and committed to contributing to USAID’s success in key global health priority areas. Learn more at

Follow GHFP-II and connect with our Global Health Fellows on TwitterLinkedIn, or like us on Facebook.

Media Contacts
Ann Wheatley, Vice President
Global Impact – Secretariat for the Global Health Council
(703) 717-5224

Angelina Gordon, Director, Communications, Outreach and Diversity
Global Health Fellows Program-II
(202) 808-3800



Trump’s global gag rule silences doctors and midwives and harms their patients

This blog was written by Catharine Taylor and cross-posted from STAT

President Trump’s reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy, better known as the global gag rule, came as no surprise to anyone working in the field of global health. We have been through this before — in 1984, when the policy was first put into effect by President Reagan, and then in 1993, 2001, and 2009, when it was repealed, reinstated, and repealed again.

The Mexico City Policy is called a gag rule because it limits not just what organizations and health providers do but what they are permitted to say. It prevents foreign organizations that receive US government funding from performing abortions — even if they are using funds from non-US government sources and even if abortion is completely legal in their countries.

The global gag rule also steps right between a woman and her doctor, nurse, or midwife, preventing these frontline health providers from telling their patients about the full, legal range of health options available to them. It forbids trusted advisers from giving honest, comprehensive health advice and information. I started my career as a nurse-midwife, and then worked in maternal and newborn health programs in Africa and Asia, so I know what this will mean for the lives and health of women and their families.

For more than half a century, the US has invested, with great success, in programs to increase access to family planning and improve maternal, newborn, and child health, as well as prevent malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and other infectious diseases. The evidence couldn’t be clearer: America’s commitment has prevented millions of unintended pregnancies and saved millions of lives. It has reaped substantial savings in health care costs from each dollar invested in building strong, sustainable health systems. US-funded programs have strengthened families and communities, increased stability and prosperity, and contributed to improved health security for the entire world, and for our country as well.

My organization, Management Sciences for Health, works in partnership with countries around the world on behalf of the American people to efficiently and effectively invest US funding in projects and programs that work to save lives, increase well-being, and build more stable and secure societies.

While my organization will continue to comply with US-government policy, we are deeply concerned about the impact of the reinstatement and expansion of the global gag rule. It will force foreign organizations — many of them our project partners — to make a terrible choice: accept US funds but withhold full, accurate health information from their patients, or reject US funds and thus provide care to far fewer women.

When the global gag rule was previously in force, it applied only to foreign organizations that received funds from the US budget for family planning assistance. That meant the effects were mostly limited to organizations focused on contraceptive services.

But President Trump’s expanded policy will apply to any foreign organization that receives any US global health funding. That could mean endangering maternal and child health programs, efforts to fight the Zika virus, and the expansive PEPFAR program to stop HIV/AIDS, perhaps the most successful health aid program in US history.

Here’s what happened when the narrower policy was in place before: Clinics were closed, services were reduced, and there were more unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions.

will lose access to affordable, high-quality, comprehensive reproductive health care, and will be less able to make informed health choices. Health systems in countries that are now showing real, sustainable progress in improving population health will be weakened. Good organizations that do effective, lifesaving work will have to cut back their activities or go out of business. The US investment in global health will be much less effective.

Global health experts know that access to family planning and accurate, comprehensive health information saves lives. By restricting that access, the global gag rule does the opposite, harming the well-being and resiliency of families, communities, nations, and economies.

Organizations should not be disqualified from participating in US-funded health projects because they use their own funds to provide the accurate, comprehensive health information that their patients need, and services that are legal in their own countries. If they are, it is women who will pay the price.

Catharine Taylor is vice president for health programs at Management Sciences for Health, a nonprofit global health organization.

Certification of the 2016 Global Health Council Board of Directors Ratification

Certification of the 2016 Global Health Council Board of Directors Ratification

For the ratification of candidates for the Global Health Council’s Board of Directors:

The published response deadline was December 23, 2016. At the close of the ratification, 42 ballots were received. All 42 ballots were received electronically via Google Forms. There were 0 duplicate and 1 invalid ballot. After elimination of the invalid ballot, 41 ballots were counted as valid.

The 41 valid ballots received exceeded the quorum of 10% of the January 1, 2016 voting member population of 316 organizational and individual members.

The following is the tally of responses for all candidates placed on the ballot to fill seats on the Board of Directors:


Michael Tarnok
Joy Hamilton Marini

*Boards terms expire December 31, 2019

A majority of valid ballots having been cast for the candidates listed, they are hereby certified as elected.

Certified by:  Management Sciences for Health 01/10/2017


World AIDS Day 2016
Each year on December 1,  World AIDS Day is commemorated to honor the millions of people who have lost their lives to the AIDS pandemic, and to acknowledge and invigorate our global commitment to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Through the collective efforts of civil society, multilateral organizations, governments, and donors worldwide, we continue to make steady progress in attaining an AIDS-free generation. In 2016, an additional one million people globally have gained access to antiretroviral therapy. This year, the day’s central theme was “Hands up for HIV Prevention,” with a focus on improving HIV-prevention strategies by addressing groups of people who are most vulnerable to transmission – adolescent girls and young women. Read more.

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence 
As part of the activities to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, human rights activists and advocates for gender equality have called on the global community to observe 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) between November 25 and December 10. GBV is an issue that affects millions of people worldwide. It threatens lives, undermines families and communities, and impedes national progress. “The extent to which gender-based violence is rooted in society means that uprooting it is everyone’s job,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, speaking at the “Orange the World” event in New York where UN Women kicked off the campaign. Read about the campaign and how to participate.

New Neglected Tropical Diseases Initiative
The Huffington Post recently launched “Project Zero,” a new initiative aimed at raising awareness of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Project Zero is a unique section on the Huffington Post with articles, videos, and photo essays dedicated to NTDs. Several NTDs will be highlighted during this year-long project, including human African trypanosomiasis (HAT or sleeping sickness) and efforts by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) to develop two promising new treatments for this disease. Read more.

CFHI Thomas Hall Scholars Program
GHC member Child Family Health International launched a scholars program for rising leaders in global health who are dedicated to health equity. This scholarship is made available by Dr. Thomas Hall, a leader on global health issues who has spent much of his life committed to improving health in low-resource countries. The $1,500 award is open to students currently enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate programs, and will go towards the program fee for a CFHI Global Health Education Program in 2017. Read about how to apply.

US Delegation Visits AIHA Biomed Project in Uganda

This guest post was written by GHC Member, American International Health Alliance (AIHA)


AIHA’s PEPFAR-supported partnership is building Uganda’s capacity to train and support biomedical engineers and technicians as a way to improve health services.

In the global fight against HIV/AIDS, physicians, nurses, and community health workers are on the front lines of the response. No less important, however, are the many health workers who toil behind the scenes every day to help ensure the quality of clinical care provided to people living with HIV.

Biomedical engineers and technicians (biomeds) are one of those oft forgotten cadres. They play a crucial role in the day-to-day operations of hospitals and other clinical sites by ensuring that laboratory equipment and medical devices are in optimal working order. Their efforts underpin accurate and efficient diagnosis, treatment, and management of HIV, as well as other acute and chronic conditions.

A high-level delegation from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) got a first-hand look at the contributions biomeds make to the care and treatment of people living with HIV during a visit to health facilities in the Eastern Uganda town of Jinja, some 40 miles from the capital of Kampala.

There, the US officials learned about the impact that a capacity building project being implemented by AIHA through our HIV/AIDS Twinning Center Program is having on the local health system.

“The successes seen in Jinja are one example of a national-level program experiencing a similar ripple effect regionally across the country,” explains AIHA Program Manager Silas Goldfrank.

“Starting with non-automated laboratory equipment, AIHA is taking a step-wise approach to build the capacity of biomeds to become specialized in conducting preventive maintenance, repair, and calibration of laboratory equipment critical to the HIV clinical cascade,” Goldfrank says, noting that the end goal is training them to maintain the highly automated equipment required for viral load testing in support of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets.

As the US President’s Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and national ministries of health shift focus to receiving SLMTA and/or ISO accreditation for their labs, having in-house biomeds with the skills necessary to work alongside laboratory technicians and conduct routine preventive maintenance and repair is essential to that process.

Through our Twinning Center Program, which is supported by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), AIHA has adopted a multi-pillar approach to ensure the work being has lasting, sustainable impact in Uganda.

Though our direct partners are the Ugandan Ministry of Health’s Infrastructure Division (HID) and Central Public Health Laboratories (CPHL), AIHA is also collaborating with educational institutions and regulatory bodies to ensure what is being implemented builds on existing programs and will eventually become the national standard for laboratory equipment management and maintenance.

Some highlights of the site visit included the hospital blood bank, automated laboratory, new biomed workshop, mortuary, and operating theater, where the equipment is similar to what is required for large-scale freezers used in laboratory cold chain systems and labs when they shift to high tech VL machines, for example.

AIHA has similar in-service biomed programs in Kenya and Zambia, as well as a combined pre-service and in-service biomed program in Ethiopia, where we are seeing similar impact on the ground. In the coming year, we will be launching a new biomed project in Tanzania and hope our work in this technical area will be able expand in future funding cycles.

From AIHA’s perspective, it’s great to see PEPFAR supporting the need to continue building the capacity of this cadre and expanding from one project that launched in 2012 in Ethiopia to now to a total of five countries across sub-Saharan Africa.